Matt’s first book, “Giving Christianity Back to Agape Love: A New Paradigm for Being Church Together” was published in 2022.
How could a church that has been plagued by anti-Semitism, the killing of the Crusades, and the violence of the Inquisition (just to name a few) be redeemed of these evils? Quite simply, it has always returned to Jesus. When you return to Jesus, you return to the heart of his message: agape. Agape is a Greek word in the New Testament referring to a love that is without limits and beyond conditions. Agape is the love that God has for us, and that we are called to have towards one another.
This book centers around this one assumption: God loves us unconditionally. Our task- individually and as communities- is to be instruments of that love. This book reenvisions traditional Christian beliefs- including sin, the Bible, salvation, homosexuality, pluralism, Jesus, and atonement theology- through the lens of agape love. What would the Christian life look like if we embodied the good news in community as contemplatives in action?
In a time when churches are dying and failing, giving Christianity back to agape love has the power to bring life into a religion that feels old, worn out, and over-institutionalized. To return Christianity to Jesus is to give the church universal back to a love that is boundless, free, and unconditional; to a love that finds its heart in service, peacemaking, and radical transformation; to a love that will set the world on fire.
Now available- Chapter discussion questions for small groups for “Giving Christianity Back to Agape Love.”
Chapters 1 to 3 Discussion Questions
Chapters 4 to 6 Discussion Questions
Chapters 7 to 9 Discussion Questions
Chapters 10 to 12 Discussion Questions
Chapters 13 to 15 Discussion Questions
“Giving Christianity Back to Agape Love: A New Paradigm for Being Church Together is a wise, thoughtful and accessible resource for congregations looking to deepen the spiritual lives of their parishioners. Grounded in sound research, personal experiences, and Biblical scholarship, author Matt Carriker takes us on a journey to restore the balance of belief and experience, contemplation and action, internal and external spiritual nourishment. Through the lens of “agape love” this journey is always rooted in Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. I highly recommend this book for small group settings or as an “all church read” with facilitated discussion sessions. In my church setting, it was the catalyst for rich conversations, personal connections, and transformative reflections on what it means to be a community that strives to follow the Way of agape love.”
Coordinator of Adult Enrichment
West Concord Union Church, MA
See author Matt Carriker speak about “Giving Christianity Back to Agape Love” in the Belize media!
Channel 5 Belize News clip January 12 2023 (3 min)
Belize LOVE FM Jan 9th 2023 morning show (25 min)
Channel 7 Belize Sunup Morning Show January 10 2023 (15 min)
Channel 5 Belize Open Your Eyes Morning Show January 12 2023 (22 min)